Understanding the clinical terms and abbreviations commonly used during verbal or written communication in U.S. hospitals is challenging. This course is designed for U.S. health care profession students and for international students and practitioners who want to become more familiar with the language of the U.S. clinical setting. Others, such as caregivers and medical interpreters, who wish to develop a better understanding of terms and abbreviations used by health care providers will find this course helpful. The course provides visual and auditory learning experiences to enhance the understanding of terms and abbreviations commonly encountered on a general U.S. hospital unit. All content including quizzes are available at no cost to the learner. If you need a certificate, you can apply for financial aid or pay the fee. To find out more, click Learn more and apply next to the information about Financial Aid. (Use a computer, not a mobile device, for this step.)
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This course was really helpful. I took notes and will review them often to keep abreast with the medical terms. These will also help me communicate clinically with my PCP. I truly enjoyed this course!
This course gave me an opportunity to improve my medical abbreviations as I am a medical student. This course is awesome. Not only medical students but also other students should enroll this course.
Excellent class & experience. I really enjoyed taking this beginner's course. It was challenging but also extremely informative. I can't wait to take more in this subject. Thanks for everything!
Thank you for the teachers and Coursera forum. I happily experienced good time and emotions here. More than that, useful knowledge is the best thing I have received. Thank you! Thank you so much!
Access to lectures and assignments depends on your type of enrollment. If you take a course in audit mode, you will be able to see most course materials for free. To access graded assignments and to earn a Certificate, you will need to purchase the Certificate experience, during or after your audit. If you don't see the audit option:
- The course may not offer an audit option. You can try a Free Trial instead, or apply for Financial Aid.
- The course may offer 'Full Course, No Certificate' instead. This option lets you see all course materials, submit required assessments, and get a final grade. This also means that you will not be able to purchase a Certificate experience.
Yes! Coursera provides financial aid to learners who would like to complete a course but cannot afford the course fee. To apply for aid, select "Learn more and apply" in the Financial Aid section below the "Enroll" button. You'll be prompted to complete a simple application; no other paperwork is required.
Why do I need to learn these terms, abbreviations and acronyms?
Medical terms, abbreviations and acronyms are a large part of the verbal and written communication that occurs in clinical situations in the U.S. Abbreviations are used to increase efficiency by shortening the time to communicate. If you want to join in any conversation about clinical matters, you will need to understand terms, abbreviations and acronyms.
Can I ask for clarification when someone uses a term or abbreviation?
You can always ask for clarification. However, clinical settings in U.S. hospitals are often very busy, noisy places with people hurrying to meet patients’ needs. There will be little time for explanation of word meanings. The more emergent the situation, the more likely it is that abbreviations will be used. When you know a term or abbreviation before hearing it on the clinical unit, you will be a better communicator and more effective healthcare team member.
Will I learn all the medical or nursing abbreviations and acronyms?
No. This is a course for beginning students. A major advantage is that the course helps you to focus on terms that you are most likely to hear or see during your early clinical training.
How will this course help me in my health care studies and clinical practice?
This course emphasizes learning to recognize and decipher common spoken and written clinical terms and abbreviations necessary for clear communication with patients and health care providers. Understanding and learning clinical language will help you to function more effectively and safely as a healthcare team member.